We live in an age of tremendous opportunity. Many of us on a regular basis are using the power of Facebook, the influence of Twitter and the pull of Instagram to share either the truth of our lives or a fictionalized version of it to make our high school friends jealous.
About once a week I post a picture on some social media of the Santa Monica Pier, or my dog lounging poolside at the Loews Hotel after he’s been french fry hunting on the Boardwalk, partly because I love the picture, and partly to make my friends in Minnesota jealous.
But social media can be used for much more important and valuable purposes. It can be used to reach a wider population. A global population, almost.
I know this because I’ve begun to share my message of father’s rights through the production of both a YouTube channel for the MensFamilyLaw.com website and a podcast called Men’s Family Law. I’ve had men from Australia and South Africa contact me in response to my videos.
The two methods of media productions are similar in subject but different in content and form. In my YouTube.com/MensFamilyLaw videos I explain some point of the law as it relates to men in family court in two to three minutes. I’ve had a ton of fun learning to be on camera, shooting the video, editing it, and then uploading and prepping it for maximum SEO. The whole process is not an easy one, but it’s been extremely satisfying and the results are starting to show. I’ve had over 300 views of my videos in the month of January alone.
The Men’s Family Law podcast is similar to a long form radio show with segments that are devoted to topics more likely to be heard on talk radio. I explain some aspect of the law or a strategy that men need to be aware of but in a more freeform, radio disc jockey style.
Having my own podcast allows me to comment on recent cases in the news. For example, the one with actor Tyrese Gibson (from “Fast and Furious” fame) whose ex is accusing him of being a bad dad because he’s traveling throughout the Middle East making money and partying with celebrities. Of course she still wants the child support he’s paying her with the money he’s earning from those tours. In my podcast I get to explain and explore the hypocrisy of her statements in more explicit language (and no, I don’t represent him.)
My enjoyment with the video process has expanded into podcasting, which is really just 21st century citizen radio.
I use a lot of equipment to make the videos and the podcasts, and some of them are remarkably commonplace. My phone for example, I use it to record segments for my shows. It has the ability to do both video and audio and has an amazing built-in microphone. I was using an iPhone 4, which in technology terms is almost as bad as a hammer and chisel on stone tablets.
So I had to upgrade my iPhone at the AT&T store on Lincoln and Wilshire. We’ve all been through the painful process of trying to figure out which program is the “right” program for us based on our usage history, and then there’s the way they hook you into a new contract with a tremendous discount on the newest phones.
AT&T has this new program where you pay monthly for your new phone, and after you’ve made 12 payments, you can upgrade to the newest version of the phone, if you renew the contract blah blah blah. The salesman was quite nice and low pressure in explaining it to me, his name was Zarar and when I said I was going to go away and think about it, he didn’t do that used car salesman thing and try to pull me back. I really appreciated that.
So after a couple hours of spreadsheet games trying to figure out which program I wanted, and how much it was really going to cost me over the course of the next 20 or 32 months, I came to the realization that all AT&T has done is manage to create a way to have me sign a 32-month contract versus a 24-month contract. That’s important I assume for their own marketing numbers and stock market valuations as the number and length of customer contracts would be an asset.
In any case the good news for those of us who want to make their own YouTube channel or podcast, is that production quality is going up, as production time is going down. It’s the nature of the technological age we live in, information is getting easier and easier to access.
Plus, it’s just plain fun to produce your own show.
David Pisarra is a Los Angeles divorce and child custody lawyer specializing in father’s and men’s rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 664-9969. You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra.